Meet the Therapy Team
Our Counselling and Wellness Team:
When you come to the Counselling and Wellness Centre at MDABC, you will be welcomed into a caring community where others like you are seeking to be empowered by therapeutic learning and sharing. The team at the Centre also work closely with the psychiatrists of the MDABC Adult Psychiatric Clinic with the goal of offering the most innovative and effective programming in the field of mental health. We all work together to meet the needs of the whole person which includes physical, emotional, social and creative dimensions.
Everyone who joins the staff and therapy team at our non-profit association is passionate about offering people a safe place to heal and grow. You will not find judgment here; we will instead express our admiration that you have had the courage to take steps in the direction of the life you want.
Jason Somersett, MA, RCC
Jason received his Masters in Counselling Psychology, and he is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors. He has experience working with adults, youth, and families struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, career and life transitions, chronic pain, ADHD, and self-harming behaviour. Jason uses an integrative approach that encompasses aspects of Person-Centered Therapy, Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Observed Experiential Integration, depending on the needs and wishes of the client.
Jason states, "As a counselor, there is nothing more important than developing a trusting relationship with my client. Part of this responsibility is to foster an environment whereby the client feels safe to discuss issues that can be very difficult. Much of the work in therapy involves developing awareness; this includes recognizing personal strengths, as well as the patterns in situations, behaviors, thoughts and, emotions. It can take a great deal of courage and work to face these things, and I believe that it is an honor to be present with a client during this journey of self-exploration.
Outside of counseling, one of the things I enjoy is being active, which includes hiking along some of the great trails in BC with my dog."
Valentina Chichiniova, MA, RCC, CCC
Valentina Chichiniova has a Masters in Counselling Psychology. She sits on the Executive Council of the International Association for Counselling (IAC) as the North American representative and is a group facilitator of the IAC’s Students’ Round Table. Valentina is a member of a number of professional associations including the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), EMDRIA and EMDR Canada, British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), and the IAC. Valentina's research interests are in the area of trauma and dissociation and she had presented at a number of national and international conferences. She had also co-facilitated trauma related workshops for counselling professionals.
Valentina provides therapeutic services for individuals and groups. Her work involves addressing concerns such as posttraumatic related issues, childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and emotional and relational concerns. Valentina takes an integrative approach to therapy aimed to meet the unique needs of each individual. She has received training in Cognitive Behavioural therapies and trauma reprocessing therapies such as Eye Movement and Desensitization Therapy (EMDR), and Observed and Experiential Integration (OEI).
Valentina states: “It has brought great deal of meaning to my life to work with people in the way that I do. I am honored to walk with others through both their pain and triumphs. I believe that being compassionately present and working collaborative with others has a great healing value and I emphasize building upon the unique strengths of individuals. Recognizing how difficult it may be to begin the therapeutic process, I strive to create a safe and attuned environment for those I work with and prioritize the relationship with them. It takes strength and courage to confront painful life experiences and I consider it a great privilege and honor to walk with clients as they pursue personal growth and healing.”
To view a video of Valentina click here.
Rose Record, MA, CCC
Rose Record holds a Master of Arts Degree in Counselling Psychology completed at the University of British Columbia and is currently completing her PhD in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Rose is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). She is also a member of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).
Rose comes from a background of working in a variety of mental health settings including school, hospital and community settings. She has experience working with a variety of concerns such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, panic, substance, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma, eating disorders, life transitions, and interpersonal concerns.
Rose currently provides counselling services for children, youth and adults. In counselling, she offers a strengths-based approach and cognitive-behavioural (CBT) theoretical lens integrated with a range of complementary therapies including solution-focused therapy (SFT), dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and creative therapies. Rose is also an advocate for trauma-informed practice and uses this framework to guide her approach. As she believes that each person comes to counselling with their own unique set of needs and goals, therapy is always considered to be a collaborative process that is personalized to fit the individual.
Rose states that: “My goal in my counselling practice is to provide a safe, supportive, and empowering therapeutic space where my clients can explore, learn, promote well-being, and increase self-awareness and self-compassion. I feel very honored to join each individual I work with on their unique mental health and wellness journey.”
To view a video of Rose click here.
Joelle Lazar, MA, RCC
Joelle has a Masters in Counselling Psychology, and is a valued member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors. Joelle is dedicated to providing evidence-based therapy treatments for individuals, couples and families facing issues such as anxiety, depression, bi-polar, post-traumatic stress, developmental trauma, grief & loss, addictive behavior, and relationship challenges. Her training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Sensorimotor therapy for the treatment of trauma, and other neuroscientifically supported approaches enhance Joelle’s ability to promote self-regulation skills, and impart resources to optimize therapeutic outcomes.
Joelle states: “It is a privilege to earn my clients trust. I provide consistent warmth and caring, and treatment that is safe, compassionate and professional. I make sure that my clients know how much I value their strengths, resilience, and their courage to come to counselling. Distressing emotions, and how we cope with them, are often rooted in developmental experiences. The process of acknowledging what we truly want, and making efforts to change what’s getting in the way, can feel as though we are climbing a challenging emotional rock face. I recognize that our therapeutic relationship needs to feel like a secure harness. It takes time and patience to acknowledge long-standing patterns that no longer serve us, and I let my clients know that I am with them every step of the way. Those I work with know that I am committed to their needs, goals, growth, and wellbeing.”
Lana Rappaport, Honours BSc (Doctoral Trainee at Adler University)
Lana has a full wait list so she is not accepting new clients at this time.
After completing an Honours Psychology Bachelors of Science degree at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Lana Rappaport entered the Doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Adler University. Now in her third year, Lana has already completed one of her doctoral practicums at MDABC and is excited to be returning for another.
Lana’s most recent doctoral-level experience was working with individuals and their families experiencing a range of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as learning and intellectual disabilities. Through her diverse experiences, she has developed a passion for understanding the unique capacity of each individual.
Her approach is simple: treatment looks different for everyone, so the use of a collaborative and evidence-based approach is how she works with her clients to create an individualized treatment plan, one made just for them. To help her clients identify the desired life changes they want to make, Lana offers a safe and empowering space, where feedback is always welcomed. This helps her clients be active participants in creating their own treatment plans by finding something they believe will achieve wellness.
In working with Lana, expect a passionate, enthusiastic, and understanding individual who will play a supportive role in helping you uncover and overcome your specific needs. Lana looks forward to the opportunity to work with you and become part your wellness journey!
Bessie Wang, MA, RCC (Not accepting individual clients)
Bessie Wang is a BC registered Clinical Counsellor. She holds a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology from Adler University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from SFU majoring in Psychology and double minoring in Gerontology and Human Development & Counselling. Before Bessie joined MDABC, she had experience working with individuals and families who are affected by a mental illness. She is experienced in working with individuals and families on issues such as anxiety and depression, grief and loss, marital conflicts, cross-cultural parenting and family relations. She believes in individuals' innate abilities to grow and live life to the fullest, which is demonstrated in her passion for sharing and promoting the knowledge of mental wellness.
To view a video of Bessie click here.
Dr. Rami Nijjar, Ph.D (Adler Practicum Supervisor, not accepting individual clients)
Dr. Nijjar completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She has trained extensively in the diagnosis and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as chronic pain, and behavioural addictions, including eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Over the past ten years, Dr. Nijjar has worked in a variety of clinical settings including outpatient mental health departments, university psychological services, and tertiary care facilities. Here she worked alongside, psychiatrists, general practitioners, rheumatologists, urologists, physiotherapists, and a range of other health providers to provide comprehensive mental health care. As a therapist, Dr. Nijjar uses a range of evidence-based treatments, including interpersonal therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, and insight-oriented approaches. Her doctoral research examined the mental health trajectories in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder, helping develop guidelines for early detection and preventative interventions for those at risk for developing mood disorders. Dr. Nijjar has recently joined the MDABC Wellness Center as a Clinical Supervisor for doctoral residents from Adler University. Under her supervision, students are trained in the use of comprehensive diagnostic and psychosocial assessments and develop the skills needed to provide conscientious, evidence-based mental health services. Dr. Nijjar also holds a position at the Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program at the Vancouver General Hospital and maintains private practice working with adolescents, adults, and couples.
Neuropsychological and Psychoeducational Assessment Program Team
Jasmine Irani, MA (Doctoral trainee from Adler University)
Jasmine completed her Master of Arts (Clinical Psychology) degree from a University in India, after which she moved to Canada to pursue the Doctor of Psychology degree at Adler University. She is fluent in English, Hindi, Marathi and has some knowledge of French. She also has prior experience assessing children, youth, and adults with Intellectual Disability, Learning Disability, and other disorders in a Government Hospital setting. She is excited to join the team at MDABC and hopes to integrate her previous experience and current knowledge to provide assessment services to the population. She believes in a collaborative approach with the client being an active participant in the assessment process.
Chasidy Karpiuk, MA, RCC (Doctoral trainee from Adler University)
Chasidy Karpiuk is a third year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Adler University (Vancouver). She will be supervised by Dr. Krywaniuk to complete Psychological and Neuro-Psychological assessments. Chasidy has extensive experience in the health care sector including working as a Health Care Worker for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and the Fraser Health Authority. Chasidy has experience administering and interpreting multiple assessment measures which help to determine a person’s strengths and areas of growth and will result in recommendations directed to the referral question(s).